Resetting the Table (RTT) invites applications for our celebrated 6-month training intensive in facilitating courageous conversations across political divides. In today’s polarized environment, few spaces exist for meaningful communication across differences of background and views. Through this program, we are building a cohort of practitioners to support meaningful, productive conversations on Israel and other charged issues. We are especially looking for educators, mediators, and other professionals with prior facilitation experience and/or skill.
This program offers one of the most rigorous facilitation trainings in the country, an opportunity to learn Resetting the Table’s celebrated methodology, and extensive live practice with individualized coaching. Upon completion of the program, participants will be eligible to facilitate at RTT and independent forums throughout the DC area. Cost for the training is $500, generously subsidized by the JCRC and Jewish Federation of Greater Washington as well as the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation. A limited number of scholarships are available.
Anyone interested in applying should complete this application by August 10th. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The facilitation training begins with a weekend retreat followed by training sessions roughly every 2-3 weeks from November–March. The training arc is delineated below. Dates for some training components are set, while others (marked with an asterisk) will be scheduled around participants’ schedules:
In addition to the dates above, the training will include 2-3 online practice sessions via videoconference and regular check-ins with RTT staff along the way to assess progress and discuss their experience.
What is Resetting the Table?
Resetting the Table (RTT) is dedicated to building meaningful dialogue and deliberation across political divides. Drawing from facilitation and mediation expertise, Resetting the Table’s unique approach supports participants to move through charged conversations with trained facilitators and carefully structured process, designed to support stakeholders to speak, listen, challenge each other, and make decisions together with honesty, mutual recognition and respect. RTT has provided communication skill-building workshops, multi-narrative educational sessions, and consultation to hundreds of communities and organizations, including 60+ college campuses, 25 Jewish Federations, innovation sector and major organizations across the country.
What are the goals of the program?
This program aims to produce a local bench of seasoned facilitators who can support the Jewish communities of Greater Washington to foster discussion and learning across divides on charged issues. For the past 5 years, Resetting the Table has worked with dozens of Jewish organizations across the country, including in the DC area, to foster a culture of dialogue across differences, especially on Israel. Amidst increasing political escalation and polarization in our culture, this program aims to expand the facilitation resources available to the Jewish communities of Greater Washington by building a local roster of exceptional locally-based facilitators.
Who should apply?
Applicants should share RTT’s commitment to building a culture of dialogue and deliberation across differences, by which we mean supporting open and direct communication where there is currently avoidance or tension over differences of views, background, or experience. Ideal participants will already have significant experience facilitating groups in professional settings (e.g., educators, social workers, mediators, staff managers/directors, clergy, etc.).
Resetting the Table’s facilitators help participants “go toward the heat” to explore their differences directly. As such, participants themselves must be comfortable with difference and disagreement and able to sustain connection and empathy to all parties as differences emerge. Seasoned facilitators must be willing to learn, practice, and employ a distinct methodological framework that may be different than the approaches they regularly use.
Those with strong roots and/or connections to one or more of Greater Washington’s Jewish communities are especially encouraged to apply.
What will participants receive?
Resetting the Table’s Facilitation Framework. This program offers one of the most intensive facilitation trainings in the country. Participants will learn RTT’s celebrated facilitation framework and receive hands-on practice and customized coaching tailored to their learning needs. Our skill-building exercises and framework provide valuable professional development for anyone supporting communication across differences or disagreements.
Our Support to Facilitate Dialogue in Your Community. When appropriate, we will support participants to utilize practice sessions directly in their professional or communal contexts.
Practice Facilitating Meaningful Conversations. During the training period, RTT may invite participants to facilitate live RTT programs at synagogues, college campuses, and Jewish community organizations as volunteer facilitators.
Alumni Network and Paid Opportunities. After completing the program, RTT will seek to invite alumni to run RTT programs as paid facilitators. When appropriate, RTT may also refer opportunities directly to alumni to run independently.
What are expectations and time commitment?
Personal commitment: Participants must be ready, willing, and able to participate in constructive, direct conversations across differences on charged issues and to collaborate closely with one another, even when they strongly disagree. This does not mean that they will be asked to check their own views and passions at the door. Rather, it means that participants must have the desire and disposition to engage across differences in the spirit of our project.
Time commitment during the program: During the training period, participants will be expected to attend all sessions (outlined above) as well as review and reflect on their learning goals and needs with RTT staff. A few training components will require participants to recruit volunteers to participate in facilitated conversations. RTT will work with all training participants to recruit volunteers, but we ask that you commit to helping secure volunteers.
Time commitment after the program: After completion of the program, we expect that facilitators will have the bandwidth, flexibility and desire to serve as paid facilitators in several forums and settings in Greater Washington over the next three years as opportunities arise. We realize that facilitators will not be available for every opportunity.
What do past participants to RTT’s facilitation training say about the experience?
Common programs we bring to campuses and communities.
Building a field of skilled practitioners.
Teaching leaders to build a culture of dialogue and deliberation for their constituents.
Bridging American divides.